The sentry’s deadliest foe is not the enemy hunkered down five hundred yards away in a foxhole. Instead, another clandestine adversary mirrors his every step and echoes his every thought. Charged with the lives and safety of his comrades, his task is vigilance—no matter how deep the darkness or late the hour. Wrestling to stay alert, this soldier’s greatest ally is also his Achilles’ heel. A nod here, a yawn there, and the weight of his eyelids render his most important weapon impotent. The enemy’s arsenals have slain their thousands, but the soothing caress of slumber—its tens of thousands.
Birthed in the heat of battle, the Church learned to walk by invading and devastating the enemy’s camp. Her history is a storied one of great valor, sweeping campaigns, heroic sacrifice, and decisive victories. Her rapid growth into a combat-decorated bride is nothing short of miraculous but somewhere along the way she paused and tasted the witch’s poisonous apple. At once, the enchanting morsel turned bitter on her lips as a frigid numbness crept over her. Reeling, she slipped quietly to the floor and fell fast asleep. The fearless bride of Christ has become a fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The warning shouts of her voice have been replaced with the warbles of her snoring.
And yet, she looks so lifelike posing in her still-life. Her wealth is breathtaking—her programs intoxicating—her personalities captivating—but her silence is devastating. Death stalks the main streets of Western Christianity while God’s watchman sleeps and no one seems to care…or do they?
My observations are not founded in criticism or condemnation. I write with no malice or hatred toward this slumbering beauty. Instead I seek to sound an alarm that seems to have been silenced in a land filled with religious buildings, but barren of a revived body. I long to see God’s fire fall once again—the droplets of his grace-filled rain bringing life to a dry and famished land. I’m one voice crying out in the wilderness, “Arise and shine Sleeping Beauty—the barbarians are at your doorstep.”